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OGCI members reduce absolute methane emissions by 40% since 2017


The OGCI 2021 performance data report reveals that member companies’ absolute upstream methane emissions have fallen 40% in four years. The volume of methane emission reduction is on the scale of 800,000 tonnes per year or equivalent to 3,891,491 US homes’ electricity use for one year. 1

“After five years of independently verified data collection and publication we are seeing a truly significant drop in absolute methane emissions across our member companies,” Bjørn Otto Sverdrup, chair of the OGCI Executive Committee, said.

“This success, coupled with increases in low carbon investment and reductions in carbon dioxide emissions, proves that our members are on course to achieve their aim of net zero emissions from operations under our control,” he added.

All OGCI members aim to reach net zero emissions from their operated assets within the time frame set by the Paris Agreement and are committed to transparently reporting their progress.

The report also shows that investment in low carbon technologies has risen steadily over the five years. In 2021, it almost doubled year on year, reflecting activity both in renewable energies and in developing carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) facilities designed to decarbonize heavy industry. The total spend on low carbon technologies, taking investments and R&D together, amounted to $40 billion over the five years from 2017 to 2021.

OGCI members have seen collective carbon dioxide emissions from downstream operations drop 11% since 2017, recording a 3% decrease in 2021. This slower reduction reflects the difficulty in reducing carbon intensity in the downstream sector. Unlike upstream operations, which can, for example, halt flaring and venting as part of their carbon intensity reduction strategy, there are fewer straightforward solutions available for refineries and chemical plants.

As well as focusing on progress within member’s own operations, OGCI is also working with the rest of oil and gas industry to encourage a shift to net zero operations. Using learnings from their own successful reductions in methane emissions, the OGCI has helped establish the Aiming for Zero initiative, an industry-led project calling for methane emissions to be treated as seriously as the oil and gas industry already treats safety.

The full report provides detailed data breakdowns for production, greenhouse gas emissions, methane emissions, flaring and investment, and R&D in low carbon technologies. Since 2016, OGCI has been working with EY & Associés (EY), as an independent third party, to collect and check data consistency, and guarantee the confidentiality of member companies’ data.

1: Calculated using 800,000 metric tons of Ch4.

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